Spain’s Lords of Black has evolved into one of the best metal bands today. Since their 2014 self-titled debut, they have stayed consistent in delivering straightforward, classic-sounding metal. Founding member and guitarist Tony Hernando draws from his love some of the greatest metal bands in history like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Black Sabbath, just to name a few. When you add the voice of Ronnie Romero to the music, you get songs that have a fantastic classic metal sound with one of the best voices in metal today. As 2020 put a halt to all touring, it gave Lords of Black a chance to record the follow-up to Alchemy of Souls, Part 1 aptly titled Alchemy of Souls, Part 2.
The album begins with “Prelude (Alchimia Confessio 1458 A.D.).” The introduction embodies classical orchestration combined with modern guitar to prepare the listener for the epic journey they have just embarked upon. “Maker Of Nothingness” gives us the first sounds from Ronnie, who, as expected, sounds terrific. The song itself is midtempo with melodic guitar riffs that mesmerize with gloomy undertones. The beat picks up with “What’s Become Of Us,” and the melodious guitar sounds continue. This was the second single released, and it is obvious why the band picked it. The song gives a triumphant thumping from drummer Jo Nunez. Midway through the song, Tony provides a classic 80s style guitar solo.
The last single to be released before the album’s official release is “Bound To You.” It embodies what one would expect from a hit single, a great beat, heavy guitar riffs combined with Ronnie’s hypnotizing vocals. I particularly enjoy how the song moves up a third out of the guitar solo.
The first single released from Alchemy of Souls, Part 2, was “Before That Time Can Come.” The song opens with guitars mixed with ominous-sounding keys that transitions into Ronnie and a piano. Each verse crescendos as it reaches the chorus. The use of the piano continues combined with keys bringing them to the forefront of the song.
One of the heaviest sounding songs on the album is “Mind Killer.” Upon hearing the song for the first time, I instantly started banging my head and stomping my foot. Ronnie’s vocals are purely evil, and the placement of the keys in the song brings images of unspeakable horror to the forefront. The pace speeds up for “Death Dealer,” which gives bassist Dani Criado a chance to shine as his rhythm is unmistakable. The song sounds like “Painkiller” from Judas Priest.
“Prayers Turned To Whispers” has an introduction that emulates a John Carpenter horror movie soundtrack. That beat continues throughout the song. It is another masterpiece provided by Dani and the rhythm section. Lyrically the piece is fantastic and how could you not love a song with that title?
The album progresses as it moves through In “A Different Light” to “How Long Do I Have Now.” The song starts with a bit of a “prog” sound that continues throughout it. This is a bit of an outlying sound for the band, but Lords of Black pulls it off successfully.
When it comes to favorite songs on Alchemy of Souls, Part 2, the obvious choice for me is “Fated To Be Destroyed.” The song begins with a more thrash-like sound and moves into the melodic galloping horse that the band is known for. The guitar in this song has a Metallica Master of Puppets sound to it. After hearing the piece for the first time, I found myself going back to it over and over. “Fated To Be Destroyed” could almost be construed as a tribute to Metallica; the influence is that strong. Then the album continues to “No Hero Is Homeless,” and so does the thrash sound. More thrash guitar screaming paired with the melodic voice of Ronnie is definitely a recipe for success.
Last but not least is Uriah Heep meets Lords of Black, with a cover of “Sympathy.” The song is a fitting tribute to some of the bands from the ’70s that bring us to where we are today. As always, Lords of Black does the song true justice as they do with all their covers. If you miss this song on the album, you miss the heart of Alchemy of Souls, Part 2.
When you hear Alchemy of Souls, Part 2, you not only hear what modern metal sounds like, but you hear what a clear influence classic metal has had on Lords of Black. As Lords of Black continue to put out excellent albums like Alchemy of Souls, Part 2, the more their fan base will grow. The album is an auditory journey that should be heard by everyone in 2021. You can pick it up on October 15, 2021, everywhere.